Malware peddlers engaged in celebrity mass killings

Plane crashes and car accidents are the preferred methods of killing off celebrities in order to lure email recipients into opening a malicious attachment, Symantec reports.

Beyonce Knowles, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, David Beckham, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Aniston, Johnny Depp, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Ronaldinho – these are just a few of the names rotated in the template emails sent in this recent malicious spam run, professing either that the celebrity in question was killed when a plane crashed a mountainside or in an automobile accident:

To find out more about the accident, potential victims are urged to download the attached file (Hot News.zip), which actually contains the ZeuS Trojan, waiting to be run.

Even if the discrepancy between the name in the subject line and the actual content of the email pictured above escaped your notice, you can be sure that it’s never a good idea to open attachments or links contained in unsolicited emails.

Perhaps the sender name or email looks like it belongs to a reputable news agency, but that information can be faked. If curiosity threatens to get the best of you, type in the URL of the news site in question (or just write the name of the news outlet) directly into the address bar of your browser and search for the news within the legitimate site.




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